Colorful Buildings Along Trondheim’s Nidelva River

by | Norway

Trondheim is a colorful city, and while it is the third largest city in Norway, it feels much more intimate than its size might imply. The Nidelva river runs through the city, beside the Nidaros Cathedral and past an historical area called Bakklandet situated on its banks north of the Old Town Bridge.

The subject: At one end of the bridge that leads toward Bakklandet’s core was an excise house, which is now a kindergarten. The bridge and gates look today just as they did in 1861 – and photographers and artists from around the world can vouch for how picturesque the scene is. Just off the river, wander around the streets of now trendy, old town Bakklandet on the east side of the bridge. Lots of restaurants and plenty of places to sit and contemplate life. We counted about five coffee shops within less than a block the last time we visited! To learn more about Trondheim, be sure to read our story “Eight Reasons to Visit Trondheim.”


The inspiration: The view up and down the Nidelva river with all of the colorful buildings is memorable at anytime; at sunset, however, when you can watch the buildings lighting up with the glow of the sun, it is a most memorable scene. Sitting on a bench beside the Old Town Bridge, as the early winter sun sank low across the horizon, the colors in the sky and reflection on the quiet waters of the Nidelva river took my breath away. I just had to “paint and draw” the scene on my iPad hoping I could capture the magic of the moment.

Artist’s tools: I used the program Procreate on my iPad combined with a Bamboo advanced stylus for this ink and watercolor. I first drew a quick sketch, using an ink pen for the outlines of the buildings, tree branches and the Nidelva river edge. I then selected a watercolor brush with round bristles using a layered light wash and some smudging for the reflections in the water and soft splashes of color in the sky.

A print of this digital painting on your wall is the next best thing to being there yourself…as well as a great gift for anyone in your life who loves Trondheim and Norway. Click here to see this artwork in my online gallery.


Check out our others stories on Norway!

There are so many wonderful places in Norway that inspire art and photography. Trondheim, Alesund, Bergen, Kirkenes and Roros. Be sure to read Eight reasons to visit Trondheim, Visit Roros, Norway: UNESCO World Heritage Town, Beautiful Alesund inspires artists and photographers, Kirkenes Travel Tips: An Arctic frontier at road’s end, and Bergen travel essentials – what to do in Bergen.

Thinking about a Hurtigruten cruise up the coast of Norway for a spectacular adventure? Then be sure to read our entire Hurtigruten cruise advice series: Hurtigruten Cruises: Travel booking tipsPlanning Your Hurtigruten Cruise Excursions; Hurtigruten Cabins: Differences, Details; Food and Drink on Hurtigruten Cruises in Norway;and Hurtigruten Video Tour – Planning Your Next Trip.

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Michael Hodgson

Co-Conspirator at HI Travel Tales
Winner of a 2018 Silver Medal from the North American Travel Journalists Association for travel writing excellence, Michael has authored more than 16 books and penned many hundreds of feature articles over the years. His bylines have appeared in Backpacker, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Outside, The San Jose Mercury News, Portland Oregonian and more. His travels have taken him to all seven continents. He is a member in good standing of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.
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